Exam 1 Study Sheet/ Sample Exam

Logic  Exam 1  spring 2012    50 pts               study guide/ sample exam

Use a Blue Book.  Write all your answers in complete sentences.  Each question is worth 3 points.


I. Basics  (You must answer in complete sentences.)


1. Define “argument,” and list two typical premise indicating words and two typical conclusion indicating words.


2. Add quotation marks as needed to this sentence:


If and only if don’t mean the same thing, and neither of them means the same thing as if and only if.

What is this distinction called?



3. Explicate the difference between arguments and explanations.  Choose a subject matter (but not the price of gas or the case of Romney) and give an example of each.


4. When is the conclusion of a sound argument false?  Why?  Provide an argument to support your answer, and state what pattern of argumentation it is.



II. Identification of passages. 

If it’s an argument, a) write out the conclusion; b) then say whether it is inductive or deductive and c) name which of the patterns it best resembles.  d) If it commits an informal fallacy,  explicate how it does.  e) If it’s a categorical syllogism, or if it denies its antecedent or affirms its consequent, show it to be invalid by writing a counter example.

f) If it is not an argument, say what kind of non-argument it best resembles. It’s wise to support your answer briefly. Don’t use the same answer twice.


5.  Former anti-terrorism czar Richard Clark argues in his book that the Iraq war was a terrible mistake and that it undermines the war on terror. But Clark just makes these kinds of claims because he wants to drum up sales for his book, so no intelligent person should listen to these arguments.


6.   If we cannot begin with a solid definition, we cannot get agreement on what phenomenon we are trying to study.


7.  Most Hollywood stars have a criminal dark side. Look at Robert Blake. He killed his wife. And Winona Ryder ripped off stuff worth thousands of dollars from Saks Fifth Avenue.


8. There are more churches in New York City than in any other city in the USA. There are also more crimes in New York City. The solution is staring us in the face: to eliminate crime, we should eliminate the churches.


9. Aristotle’s predecessors had been interested in the art of constructing persuasive arguments and in techniques for refuting the arguments of others, but it was Aristotle who first devised systematic criteria for analyzing and evaluating arguments. Aristotle’s logic is called categorial logic.


10.  All extremely dense objects produce intense gravity, since all neutron stars produce intense gravity and all neutron stars are extremely dense.


11. Sleep, a very small effect on the body, is attended with a temporary extinction, at least a great confusion, in the soul. The weakness of the body and that of the mind in infancy are exactly proportioned; their vigour in manhood, their sympathetic disorder in sickness, their common gradual decay in old age. The step farther seems unavoidable: their common dissolution in death. (David Hume, Immortality of the Soul)


12.  Of course this is a well-written essay! Look, every single sentence in it is very well-written.


13. If carbon dioxide is present in the atmosphere, then plants have a source of carbon. So, since plants have a source of carbon, carbon dioxide must be present in the atmosphere.


14. In areas where rats are a problem, it is very difficult to exterminate them with bait poison. That’s because although some rats eat enough poison to die, others eat only enough to become sick, and they learn to avoid that particular poison taste in the future.


15. Civilization either originated in Greece or in Egypt. But it didn’t originate in Egypt, so it originated in Greece.


III. Conditions and conditionals


16. Determine which condition is necessary (or sufficient) for the other, and express it as a conditional statement:    a) being a goat  / being a mammal;    b) being valid /   being deductive;      c) being President of the United State / being Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces.

IV. Categorical Logic 


17.  Rewrite the following as the appropriate standard form categorical propositions, and give the letter name of the proposition.   Don’t leave out any of the four parts.

i.   Not all music lovers care for Thelonious Monk.

ii.  U.S. flags don’t have 51 stars on them.

iii.  Only students take classes.

iv. There are students who finish college in three years.


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